Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Here is my daughter listening to Banana Phone on my computer. See her? She's sitting on her MagnaDoodle, lest anyone try to use it while she's doing something else. At two, kids get so possessive! With really hard work, you can teach them to share, but it doesn't come naturally. Of course not! I remember being a kid, and my mom making me share some plastic baby bottles I had. It was a set of eight, with a little holder to put them in. A little girl came to visit, and my mom told me to give her a couple. Umm... no? Fine. If I didn't share them, she could have them all. Well, let me tell ya. I looked at that little carousel of baby bottles, and I thought, "But they're mine. And they're a set. And they won't be this very awesome set if I give a couple away." Well, I thought something very like that. I clearly remember the feeling. So the little girl went away with a carousel of eight baby bottles, and I stood on my moral ground.

Now, that's not how I grew up, of course. I'd share anything but my husband now. If people have less than me, gee, just say so, and I'm all over the sharing. Our house has been a landing place for displaced family members for years, until finally everyone else realized we'd run out of spare bedrooms. I liked it. The bigger the family commune, the better. But I think it all started when I was about two.... heh. So I suppose I should have slung her offa that MagnaDoodle, but I'm on my third child and tired. I let it slide. I'm feeling properly chastised, and will continue on with the teaching today.

Well, I took a stress test, and...

Your Stress Level is: 65%

You are prone to stress, and you're probably even pretty stressed right now.
Life's problems seem to pile up on you, and this often makes you feel depressed and burned out.
Learn to take time to relax and enjoy life, even if things are stressful. It's the only wa you'll get through the bad times.

Hey, I took a stress test. I got it from a link at Amputeehee, and she is having a hard time of it lately. Her stress level was quite high. So I thought, eh, I'll see what mine is. I'm probably off the charts, too. Only 65%! My husband walked by, saw it and said, "Hey, we could start another business!" Haha.

I spent a glorious night last night watching House and Boston Legal. I meant to watch the movie Click, but good tv was on last night. My husband went to bed early, so there I was, knitting like a fiend, until my right arm started to hurt. I have to figure out what I'm doing wrong with my needle positioning or something. One should be able to knit like a fiend for two hours without pain, methinks.

Oh, and my two-year-old is addicted to the bananaphone song. You can find it here. Very funny stuff, except I can't get near my computer without the smallest kid in the house trying to kick me off.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happy Days

I've been working on writing a business article all morning. Now I'm over here blogging, because I've been pecking at the article for so long that I have no idea how it sounds. SO - a little distraction, and then I'll read it again. I have a work-at-home business, which is immensely helpful, since I have three kids I cart all over the place. For this business, I get to write an occasional article, as well as making sure everyone in the company is happy, happy, happy. (I love my jobs) So I'm sitting here this morning, just clicking around on the Internet, looking for inspiration, and I thought, "I love this." I always thought it would be great to write commercials. I had an image of myself, bouncing a ball against the wall, waiting for inspiration. Well, in a way, that's what I'm doing now. I'm not trying to sell anything, but I can write about anything I want, as long as it would be interesting to people with small businesses. How cool is that? Life was not always this cool, people. There have been times when it has been very, very hard, and likely will be again. I am, however, the victim, or the beneficial recipient, of a foggy memory. Some things I know people would consider really terrible, and those things were really terrible while I was going through them, but I don't really connect with them now. They aren't who I am at this moment, and that's just fine. I just feel very definitely as if I am defining who I am. There are times when all I can do is put my head down and get the next thing done, and those times happen every day. But I'm in a good place right now, and I'm old enough to appreciate that it will not always be like this, so I'm really enjoying it every single day that it lasts.

Drama club starts seriously rehearsing tonight. So far this year we have been doing improv and working on skits, very fun stuff. I'm interested to see how things will go now. I have a feeling they will be much crazier! If anyone has any advice of what to do with the kids that aren't on stage at that moment, please let me know. Just something to keep them busy and, um, relative quiet would be great.

No knitting to show, because Christmas is breathing down my neck, and I can't show any pictures of what I am up to. But I have been seeing so many beautiful pictures of fair isle knitting on other people's blogs that I'm starting to think something like that would be fun. Maybe a pillow.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Finisher...

I have some finished objects to show! I'm not as quick as some, but I don't think I'm doing half badly, either. The baby sweater and blanket for my dear friend that I'm meeting for lunch today. This will likely be her only child, so enough fussing cannot be done. The sweater was a free pattern that I got from knittingonthenet. I actually had the proper yarn in my stash, which was Bernat Softee Baby yarn, sportweight. It has a wonderful softness.

The baby blanket is made from 1930's reproduction fabrics, a simple one-patch pattern, pink with a little purple thrown in here and there, since her favorite color is purple. My friend Arleta has been knitting her a baby blanket in a cute spiral pattern of purple and white. Go see it. It's great. The back of my blanket is made of 100% cotton flannel, very soft, and I machine-quilted the whole thing to make it extra durable. The machine quilting is a very simple back and forth wave, which I think lends itself very nicely to the simple one-patch pattern.

The scarf I knitted from the pattern from the IrishHikingScarfKnitalong. It's made of Plymouth Encore Yarn, 2 skeins. I went up a needle size to make it wider, because the cable pattern really pulled it in. Now it's really warm! My brother loves it, which is fortunate, since I had him in mind when I started it. Another Christmas gift off the list! I'm making another one in blue, but I need more yarn. This pattern definitely takes two skeins, and I always assume a scarf will only take one. I'm learning. A scarf is not a hat, Carrie, a scarf is not a hat....

Well, that's all I have for now! More things coming, I'm sure... but today I'm off to start the consumerism. Actually, I'm being very good this year, and am not going to crazy. Really, I'm not... I think I'll freeze my credit card in a block of ice after I am "done" buying, so I have to behave. That last-minute Christmas frenzy always pulls me in. Not. This. Year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Okay, It was fun.

Having a photographer come to the house was really surreal. He snapped and snapped while we joked around, and a not-awful picture came out. Sure, my head looks big, but everyone looks cute and all, plus my husband got recognition for a really amazing gift he gave me. What was really funny was how we forgot to mention it to any of the family, and they were all a bit irritated with us for not giving them any notice. Whoops! Surely, our lives are too busy, when we can't even find time to talk about being in the newspaper, for goodness' sake. STITCHED WITH LOVE
Husband learns to sew, surprises wife with quilt
"Rob has the usual reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving: terrific kids and a wonderful wife. This year, he is also thankful for something else. After nearly three years, he completed a remarkable gift that he had been secretly constructing for his wife Carrie — a one-of-a-kind quilt."
Nice, ay? He's a good guy.

Thanksgiving was very nice, with beautiful warm weather and outdoor time to walk off all that turkey and pie. No crabby family members! Well, me, a bit, but baby hadn't had a nap, which always makes me crazy. Then, once she's asleep, all my stress seems to seep away.... Yet another evolutionary trait to help us rear our kids. Thanks, Higher Power!

I've also been "The Finisher" these last couple of days, but I'll share that tomorrow. I'm off to enter the cyber-world of gaming with World of Warcraft, long may it be played! After that, I hear that "Sphere" is going to be amazing.... some time I'll learn how to link all of these things. Gotta have Arleta over soon. She's my blog trainer, from See? I need to know how to do that better....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy, Happy

Yay! The Noro sweater fits great! As I said before, it's Noro Silk Garden, Silver, and the pattern is from the book Naturally Noro. That book also has a couple of beautiful scarf patterns in it, which is how I got into the Noro yarns in the first place. If I could afford it, I'd spend some serious time playing with the different color ways of this yarn. It feels great to knit with, and while it isn't softy on your skin, it still makes for a wonderful sweater with good drape. It feels, in fact, exactly as I'd hoped that it would feel. And it fits! (Sorry, Mom) I like the ruffles down the front and on each sleeve. My daughter says now I have to change this blog name, but I say, "Shhhh." The last time I made a sweater for myself was in high school, and it felt pretty good then, too. Hopefully, I get to meet with Arleta this morning for knitting, and I'll bring a Christmas scarf to be worked on. I got a crazy idea a couple of days ago that scarves would be the way to go. I haven't been into knitting so long that everyone already has one from me, so it should be an okay Christmas move. My aunt owns a yarn shop, so knitted things aren't like the heavens opening and beautiful music playing with you open a gift of knitted something. I mean, knitted things happen. And we love and appreciate them always. But it's a magic trick that we know. That's on my mom's side. The few people on my husband's side, though, are fair game for knitted somethings...

Does anyone else have skin that is suffering from knitting? My hands are having all of the moisture sucked from them. This happens when I quilt, but I figured, yeah, cotton would pull moisture. Yarn, though, should have lanolin in it, right? So I didn't expect anything other than soft, beautiful hands from this winter's crafting. Grr. Oh, since I'm floating down the stream of consciousness and mentioned quilting, I'll hopefully post pictures of the pink baby quilt soon... Pink. Oh. I need to finish the pink baby sweater. I guess I'm bringing that this morning. Babies have such a permanent deadline, it's hard to set their things aside to knit something else, say that hat...

Oh, and today is casting day for the drama club! Woohoo! I'm a little nervous myself. It should be fun. I've never seen a casting and I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Does anyone else do this?

This sweater is so close to done! I want to wear it tomorrow, so I'm knitting away. Looks like it might fit, though I hope I'm not jinxing myself there. I went and got needles to work on that hat that's rolling around in my head. Have a scarf halfway done. Husband's sweater hasn't been touched in a week. Purple socks started, but they're too small for me and too big for my oldest daughter. Who are they for? Heavy wool socks also started, but needles got pulled off to work on the baby sweater, which needed double-pointed needles for the sleeves. Still hoping to start the KnitPicks orange yarn sweater... at some point. People, I'm starting to suspect that I have a bad case of startitis. I think it has something to do with the holidays.... Perhaps gift certificates would be a good gift? Anyway, I don't have time to type. I think there's a movie on that needs to be knitted through.

That thing happened...

Yay, the photographer came from the paper! It was all very surreal. He put all of us on the couch and snapped photo after photo of us smiling with the quilt, holding it up to our chins, which will likely make a doofy picture. But he's snapping and snapping, and we're smiling and smiling, and he finally looks up and says, "I'm just focusing right now." *snort* My youngest daughter kept asking one after another of us to "scoop over", when she wanted to sit where we were. This cracked everyone up, and after that, the photographer would only use the words "scoop over a bit" when he wanted us to move. I hope the folks at the photo shoot where he was headed next had a sense of humor. He was there 45 minutes, which is too long for kids to behave (at least mine?). So they're rolling around on the floor, tackling their dad, and there is the photographer, *snap* *snap* *snap*. Heehee. So I have absolutely no idea what the article or photos will be like. I only have the sinking feeling that I am going to look like a doofus. I realized it afterwards as I was driving my daughter to a play. There isn't any point in dwelling on it, but I am anyway. Doof. I'm sure everyone else will look wonderful!

The play we went to was Galileo, Man of Science, and was directed by the gentleman who is doing the casting for our drama club. Casting is tomorrow! Yay! The kids have been having a great time doing improvisational exercises and learning to emote and project, but after Tuesday, we'll be able to really focus that in a definite way. I have photos of them hamming it up with a game called Family ReUnion, where the kids randomly group up and hold an impromptu reunion, much hugging and giggling. But I don't have anyone's permission to post those pics, so you'll have to trust me. Very funny kids.

Noro sweater should be finished today, because I'd really like to wear it for the casting tomorrow. I will feel very artsy in it, if it fits.... I swatched and all, but I've been losing weight, and it's all a coin toss now. My mom is eyeing it if it comes out a little too large for me. I also started a Christmas scarf last night, the Irish Hiking Scarf from, and it raced right along as I watched "Elf". Hey, guess what? "Elf" is a movie about Christmas that the kids could actually see and enjoy! Yay! Highly entertaining. I'm rather too old to be laughing at jokes written for this youngerage group, but there I was. I felt silly laughing, but it was good laughing. My husband was looking sideways at me and laughing a bit, too, but I'm not sure it was at the movie...

I am off to work. But I've got a hat waiting to be created. The yarn is just sitting by my computer, taunting me.... grrr. One of the kids have already claimed this hat that I was making as a Christmas gift, so I'll have to rethink. They don't usually wear sweaters, so how can I deny them the knitted wear they would use?

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Change of Plans

Well, Pooh. My husband has been reading the blog, and suggests that, while blogs should be personal, perhaps he might be getting a big embarrassed. Well, okay. Let's not put in a mushy, gushy poem by someone you don't know, and just suffice it to say that it was a great gift of monumental proportions, and I'll never live up to it. Oh, and people are coming to photograph it tomorrow, so there shall be cleaning to a detail rarely seen around the house... Sorry about the teaser of a poem.

In knitting news, while the camera has been down, I have been knitting a bit. Things seem to be taking me longer than normal, because I can't seem to make myself do a stockinette stitch. Too many vanilla sock patterns. So here's the baby sweater to date, though it really should be done by now. It's a top down pattern I got from the free pattern site I'm using the recommended yarn, which is Bernat Softee Baby Yarn, and it is so soft and nice to knit with. It just feels good to stop and handle the sweater. Of course, there's been a nasty cough going around this house, so I'll be washing it before it's given, and I'm really hoping it retains that softness. Anyway, the skein of yarn was really big, and I'm sure I could get two of the sweaters from one $6.00 skein, which is a rare event in my house. I usually have just enough yarn left to do nothing with.

Norovember is moving right along, so I believe my next job should be finishing up the Noro jacket I made last month. I used Noro Silk Garden Silver. It was by far the most expensive yarn I have used to date, and I enjoyed it a great deal. There were a lot of knots in it, sometimes one just a yard from the last one, which made my grind my teeth a bit. But I loved working on the yarn. I finished the knitting, blocked the pieces and put it away. Seaming is no fun! So I need to find a good movie and, as the Nike man would say, "Just do it." But to hasten myself along, or to shame myself into finishing this before the end of the month, I show you the blocked pieces. -- Oh Ho! I tried 3 times, but Blogger wouldn't let me. The fates don't wish me to be hurried. Huzzah!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Quote from my husband...

Okay, camera still broken. That's okay, because I'm going to type in the first line my husband presented in the scrapbook he gave me, along with the quilt.
The first page of the scrapbook says, "A star that shines so bright as to make others seem dim shines as it was made, for a greater reason. It is not to be questioned, or even understood. It is to be enjoyed and loved for the gift that it is."

Isn't that just sweet? Couldn't you just melt? The person who did not appreciate someone feeling this way about them... well, that would be a very strange person. When I read it again this morning, it got me thinking. Okay. How cool would it be if everyone just appreciated us as we were? Wouldn't we all be so grateful if no one tried to change us, or assumed we're doing something bad, if we were just doing our best? I just decided that this very first line that my husband wrote could fill a whole blog entry. (What a guy *smile*) As a woman, I have run into competitiveness since grade school. Why do women compete so hard with other women? In college, if I approached a group of girls, I would get the complete lookover, and they would wait to see if whatever I said was going to measure up to their standards. If I went and joined a group of men, in a not thinking about sex way, I was always accepted in a friendly, "How you doing?" manner. Of course, every situation is different, but this competitiveness does happen, people, and often in situations that just don't seem to call for it. It seems to me that we all have essentially the same struggles for respect and equality with men. Are we competing with other women for our heirarchy in the pack? If it's something that's programmed as a survival mechanism in our brain, from way back in the 'fight for food' age, I can forgive it. If it's just snarkiness so we can feel better about ourselves, I would like us all to get over it. Please.

"Hi, how are you? I'm sure you're friendly, as I am friendly, so let's be friendly, shall we?"

As an adult, if I meet a woman who is just friendly, no comparing, sizing up or anything like that, but just geniune interest in meeting someone new, it's all I can do not to drag her home and make her be my friend. I am constantly searching for more people like that. Thankfully, I have met some.

Whew! That was quite a tangent there. Obviously, my husband respects me, but even better than that, he seems to enjoy me, even if I don't think I'm nearly as clever or amusing as he is. But guess what? He's not comparing me! Thanks for letting me be me! That's the best gift. I feel so comfortable and appreciated. Very good stuff.

I'll end this post with that, since the poem itself is rather lengthy, and will definitely be worthy of its own entry.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Sweet Thing My Husband Did

I have been knitting, but I need camera batteries, which is really irritating, because I can't post update pictures! The baby sweater grows, unskeined Elegance yarn still unwashed, back of hubby's sweater mysteriously stalled. Actually, it's not that mysterious. We've been seriously working on getting rid of all we don't need. Serenity through simplicity! Also, people with cameras are arriving soon.... The photo shoot was planned for tonight, but the newspaper had to reschedule til Saturday morning, which does not break my heart. Once I got rid of much of the clutter, I could really see the dirt everywhere. So now for the cleaning agents and good old muscle power.

And now I'll tell you the story, as I know it. I have been a serious quilter since my first daughter was born. I've made the daughters quilts, and others many, many wall hangings which, I have to say, were really pretty. I'll post pics at some point. I have sold items on eBay and made quilts for charity. I had the quilting bug like I now have the knitting bug. Well, at least three years ago, my husband decided to make me a quilt. He did it in secret, meeting with a quilt instructor after work or during his lunch hours. Their quilt shop even lent him a new-in-the-box sewing machine to work on, and he took it to work and sewed in the conference room whenever he had a minute. His bosses were great about it and really supportive of what he was doing. After our third daughter was born, he says there was suddenly no extra time and no extra money! (Tell me alllll about that, honey) So his quilt instructor met with him in the evenings for free, and her husband was really great about it, too. Sometimes I am blind-sided by how good people can be.

Well, on my birthday, hubby took me to the quilt shop, where a beautiful double wedding ring quilt top was artfully displayed in a side room. The quilt shop owner directed me over there, and I looked at the quilt top. Hubby said, "What do you think?" And I believe I said something like, "It's pretty, but I could never do it." Seriously, folks. He picked the hardest quilt pattern! For his first quilt! The colors were all interlocking in a way I had never seen before, and it was amazing. Then he handed me a scrapbook with fabric samples and pictures of the quilt being put together, along with a beautiful poem he'd written for me. Okay, I thought, he's bought me a kit to make this quilt. Or something. He's smiling at me happily and says something like it's for me. I looked at the book, looked at him, and I just. didn't. get. it. So I said, "You're just going to have to tell me what you're trying to tell me." And he did, explaining about all the time and effort, and how long it took, and how he felt really bad at times for being deceptive. I tell you what, I couldn't have been more surprised. I couldn't. If he'd told me he had been taking courses and was now a certified astranaut, I'd have been just as knocked over. I must have spent a day or two looking at him, and saying, "Seriously? You made it?" It is beautiful. Here's a pic:

He had sat down with a colored pencil and the pattern, and worked out how he wanted the colors to intersect. It's beautiful, and even with all of those curved pieces, it lays perfectly flat. Wow. The real thing that made me laugh about it, though, was when he said, "Remember when you decided to get a king-sized bed?" We had had a queen-sized, and he had to revamp the whole pattern and make it bigger. Poor guy! Amazing guy, too. I'll post the poem tomorrow. It's more beautiful than the quilt.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What I Did Instead

I was supposed to be washing unskeined yarn on Friday. Instead of that, I watched a little boy for my friend who had to work. Then I didn't dare wash the yarn, because I was afraid the kids would want a bath, and I didn't have the mom's permission to bathe her child. That sort of thing ranks high on my list of Do Ask First. So I was playing with kids instead, when my brother called me, with an attitude.

Him: "What are you doing today? Can you fix a zipper on my kid's jacket?"

Me: Watching children, and yes I can, but not today.

Him: (At first silence, then) When can you fix it? Before Monday?

Me: I'll try. I'll work on it here and there, and really try.

After all, I'm busy. I am throwing a Lia Sophia jewelry party on Sunday. I had to go to my grandmother's 83rd birthday party on Saturday. I was watching children on Friday. Oh, and BY THE WAY, the local newspaper is coming to photograph something somewhere inside my house on Wednesday. I'll tell you what, in a different post. So that means my "Hey, I have three kids" attitude on housecleaning was going to need to undergo a change. In four days, I want my house to look like something any normal person's house would look like. I haven't been able to find my magic wand yet, so I'm not sure how this will happen. One of the kids likely hid the darned thing... Oh, and I should mention that said zipper was broken because my brother got frustrated while zipping his daughter's jacket, yanked it too hard, and a tooth and the bottom of the zipper went flying off. So: not my fault, but sure, I'll try.

I ran to the zipper store and back, and began to try to pull off the zipper of this Columbia jacket. People, this is hard. Apparently the name Columbia does mean something, and that is durable. The material around the bottom of the zipper was glued, after it was sewn. I broke my seam ripper trying to open up that seam. And the Columbia construction people had put snaps in after the zipper, catching the zipper fabric in the snap. That babee was not meant to come apart. Hmm... I was looking at a four-hour project, at least. I wasn't cussing, but I did remark that I would need some coffee, and my husband asked to look at the zipper. I handed it over with hope. He is so good at fixing stuff. He studies it for a minute and then tells me to go read to the kids, he'll see what he can do.

When I come out, he has taken some of the teeth from the top of the zipper, pulled them off (some broke), and reinserted and then crimped one where the missing tooth was. Where they were taken from, there was no harm done. Now all that needed to happen was the bottom stop of the zipper had to be replaced. I cut off their purple stop, put in my blue one (they didn't have purple at the zipper store), and zigzagged sewed them together. It worked! It is perhaps at 85% capacity, and took an hour. I can live with that, since I'm 85% sure that he's just going to buy a new coat anyway, cuz that's how he is. And done! Now I'm looking at my unwound yarn.... pics of that when it happens.

Oh, and I found out my girlfriend's baby is a girl! Yay! So I'm nearly done with a pink and purple quilt. Purple is my friend's favorite color. And of course a sweater, but I'll cast on for that as soon as I get a little further on hubby's sweater. And I'll tell you about the photo shoot soon! It's going to take some time, and I have to go get ready to teach Sunday School.... oh, yes, then hold a jewelry party. Wheee!

Friday, November 10, 2006

What's Going On Here?

Here's a picture of some worsted weight, pretty Burnt Orange wool from KnitPicks, called Elegance. It is 70% Baby Alpaca, 30% silk, and babee, it's sweet. It is so incredibly soft. I can't wait to knit with this yarn! No, really. I can't wait. So I cast on for a swatch, knitted it up to the right gauge, or at least only a half of an inch off, which is the best I could do. I'm hoping that's okay. Then, following the good advice of the Yarn Harlot,, I took my little swatch to the sink and hand-washed it. Originally, the swatch was 3.25 inches tall and 6.5 inches wide. After the wash, it was 3.25 inches tall and 7.25 inches wide. It had widened 3/4 of an inch. Yikes! This is good to know. I'm glad I listened to a professional. Now what to do? I could knit a smaller size and hope. That's what I would have done a couple of years ago. Now, however, there's not that much time in my life to throw away on something that won't work. Besides, I really want to wear this yarn. So, my mom had the best idea that would work, which was to prewash every skein to get the sizing out. This will work, won't it? So I have been unwinding. Today I will place these unwound skeins in the bathtub for a swish and a wish. Then, after they have dried, I'll knit another swatch, wash that, and see what happens. This should work. I have to wear this soft-y yarn. And just to make sure it was going to work with my lifestyle, I grabbed hold of my swatch and pulled. Yup, totally strong. Kid tugging proof. I'll let you know how this works out.

Speaking of the Yarn Harlot (I assume you know who she is), one of her books is how I discovered blogs. I like knitting, obviously, and I was in Borders, checking out the craft section. I picked up her meditations book, flipped through and started laughing out loud. Bought one for my friend Arleta, who would also appreciate the funny, and I also picked up Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. On the back cover, they talked about her incredibly successful blog and gave the web site. Guess where I was for the next month??? I reread every post she ever did, and it was like reading a book online. It was highly enjoyable. Then I linked to someone she seemed to like, Enchanting Juno Wow. Very entertaining, also. Then Arleta started her blog, I kept peeking at other people's links.... well, here I am, a couple of months later. I heard on NPR yesterday that an average of 70,000 new blogs are being created every day! See all of the people with something to say? Pretty cool, huh? Thanks, everyone, for putting your thoughts out there, and reading my thoughts, too. This is a very cool thing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sock Stuff

All righty. About this baby sweater. I saw a sample on , and the free pattern is from There are a lot of free patterns on that site, and some good help information. I love that people will do this for free! Thank you! It's not that I don't buy patterns - I do, and a lot of them. But it's so nice that people post free ones for when I'm overcome with the urge to create, at night, and none of my patterns will do. Go check out the yarn-y goodness! Very nice.

And yay! My friend won a sock yarn in the Dutchikins contest! I'm happy for her. I haven't entered any contests, but how fun to win something! She says she never wins anything, so thankfully she won't be able to say that anymore. There's some sock yarn I've been coveting from Patternworks, but it's $18 a skein, and I want two different colors if I'm going to buy anything at all... Now, I know no one is going to get me a gift certificate there for Christmas, because no matter how much I ask, my family doesn't give gift certificates. The point is, there's no point in waiting til Christmas. SO! Mr. Visa? I'm being responsible.... still coveting. One of the colors is called Whiskey, which I think is so interesting, because they've gone and captured highlights as if sun were coming thru the liquid, and the darker amber color, and somehow made it, well, whiskey-ish. How cool! So - what? The person was sitting there, staring at her bottle, thinking, "I could capture that in yarn...." Isn't that neat to imagine? Just an odd thought that went thru my head as I was driving home. Not thinking about whiskey, mind you (the day wasn't going badly at all), but thinking about yarn called whiskey. The other color is Ocean Waves, and I just want to see it on my feet. I'll roll up some change later and see where I'm at. Hee! Have you ever knitted socks for yourself, looked and them and thought, "Well, I don't really NEED these. I'll save them. Maybe someone will need a pair." What's up with that? It's okay to have too many socks. And I gave hand-knitted socks to my mother-in-law for her birthday and she. did. not. like. them. She thought I was crazy. Now, MY mom would love more knitted socks, so I keep that in mind. But still. It's okay to keep stuff for ourselves, people! But I wait. Maybe a sock swap would be a good idea. That would be fun.

I'm not even going to try to upload a picture right now. Blogger let me try eight times yesterday morning. He (yes, must be a boy) kept telling me he had let me have what I wanted, then when I looked, nothing there. I dated a guy like that once.... I'm not giving him another chance right away. I'm off to knit with Arleta now!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Soothing is good.

HeeHeeHee. I've got my girls helping me to wind up my yarn skeins. The leftover ones from projects, some of which are pretty big. The pay = a dollar an hour. It didn't take my older girl long to deduce that winding four skeins in an hour was the same pay as winding one. But we had a nice talk about doing quality work for the way it makes you feel good. Then my younger daughter said, "Why can't you just use the skein as it is?" Ahhhh..... I have clever children. Of course I wasn't giving them busy work! When they wind the skeins, they find all the knots and smooth them out for me. (Actually, they say, "Mom! Knot!" and I come fix it. I'm paying for this?) But my husband came home and last night and wondered why the house was so quiet. Our house is normally very. crazy. noisy. And now I know - not only is knitting with yarn soothing, but winding it calms you down, too. Well worth the dollars. With three kids, folks, soothing is good....

I found the cutest sweater on a free pattern site that I just have to make for my pregnant friend. She wasn't expecting to get pregnant at this stage in her life, so surprise! And she's nervous, as all soon-to-be good moms should be. What gift to make? Well, I found with my girls that you just can't have too many blankets, so a quilt will be had. Also, though, I appreciated every sweater. Not only is there not a lot of money to go shopping, there is definately a shortage of time. It's actually easier to sit at home and make a cardigan than it is to drag three girls to the mall. (Soon, I know, I won't be dragging them - they'll be dragging me) Also, I'm thinking a baby sweater won't take as long as the sweater I'm trying to make for my husband which is just. inching. along. It would inch faster if I would pick it up, but the yarn is thicker (Fisherman wool), and the color is bland, bland, bland. That is, it's natural. I should have let my friend Arleta dye it before I started, but I didn't realize the coma knitting it was going to put me into. I accidentally left the boot sock I was making for my daughter in the car last night, and instead of working on hubby's sweater, I just didn't knit. For one thing, I don't go outside after dark. We live in the country, and there are wolves and bears and now I understand a cougar running around. After dark, things in the car stay in the car. But how bad must a sweater be to choosing nothing over knitting it??? I have to think about unwinding it or finding a way to fall in love. With the sweater. Already in love with the hubby.

And why are my comments turned off? Does anyone know? And how will you tell me? Haha. Seriously, if you have a clue, could you go down to a comment on a lower entry (I don't have many yet) and give me a hint? I'm also going to be bugging some guy at the Blogspot Help Desk to work for me on this one. I'm sure he/she will be able to fix it without pulling their eyes away from the election results. It just can't be that hard to fix, when you've got a little knowledge. ..... Oh, wait. I got in there and played around a bit (Did you know there's a section entitled 'comments'?), and I think I have it. I'll upload this and see. Smile! It feels good.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mmmmm, the mitten-y goodness. I know you all are thinking about making mittens, what with it being November and all. Go ahead! If you don't need them, lots of people do. There's a need at your shelters, at your schools, probably a relation in your family. If there's a better gift to give right now, I don't know it. And they are so portable! Car mittens will replace the socks I always carry along to work on. I made mittens last year at a slumber party my daughter had, and the kids thought I was doing magic. It was so gratifying, seeing their faces as they realized That's How These Things Were Made! I taught the little group how to knit, and they were up until 1:00 o'clock in the morning, until I finally turned the lights out, and then the tv off. The tv was only on so they could knit by its glow. They were complete addicts. Now, I should say these kids were in the range of 7 to 8 years old. Their yarn love was so cool! Then I spent the next two weeks being handed misshapen scarves in the hallway, so I could take them home and magically transform their work into a perfect scarf. Magic? Yes. Those little bundles of potential adolescents are now knitters! My work here is done.


My daughter is still wearing the hat and mitten set I made last year, so the extra mittens I have knitted now are in the Winter Tub that sits by the front door. It is full of scarves, hats and mittens, and is waiting for the first sticky snow to be made into a snowman. I make wool mittens for my family, but of course it's acrylic or blends if I'm gifting to a household where I don't know the crafting knowledge of the recipients. I finished the little girl's hat and mittens that she asked for last week at school. She chose orange and brown (I didn't just do that to her on a whim!). I think I like the orange and brown, actually. It's very 50's. My mom made the mittens, which was so nice. I took the yarn to her house and asked, and she started them the same day. Thanks, Mom! Then I prewashed and dried them, so I know they'll hold up if they fall into the hamper - and voila! She can have them today, which is fortunate, because not only has Jack Frost been visiting at night, he's been bringing some flaky friends along with him....
Time to make lunches! Also, it takes an inordinate amount of time for blogger to load up my pics, so I'll just get started.... Have fun with those mittens!

Monday, November 06, 2006

In knitting news, I love this Regia cotton sock yarn. I've made three pairs out of it, and have skeins to make 2 more. It is so sweet and soft to knit with. Mmmmm. Softy goodness. One of these pairs is a Christmas gift, which means I'm thinking a bit more ahead this year! I'm also knitting a hat for a little girl at school. My mom made her a pair of mittens, at the girl's request, that were brown and orange (!!!). There was enough yarn left, so a hat will be had! I also made a pair of blue mittens for a little guy I know, but - again quoting Elizabeth Zimmerman, whom I really enjoy reading - I made three mittens instead of two. Smart, eh? You just know he's going to lose one. Not cool for little guys to have the string thru the coat thing, I guess. Then again, it wasn't ever really 'cool' for me, either. *sigh* Mom made me do it anyway. Thanks, Mom!

So I was driving home from church yesterday, listening to the happy chirping of my kids and my nieces, and I heard something on Public Radio about scientists and the year 1500 A.D. That's all the better I can classify what I heard, because I was only aware enough to think, "Hmm, how much info did they save from the 1500's?" I know nothing about 1500 A.D.! Well, thanks to that great modern mechanism called Google, I sat down to spend ten minutes finding out. What I learned was that science actually knew very little.... they thought, for instance, that the Black Plague was caused by a bad gas in the air, and many people died because of it. There were other interesting tidbits, tho, like - da da dum.....

Things I learned about the years 1200-1500 A.D.:

In castles, food was served on something called a Trencher, which is the equivalent of our plate, but the trencher was a hard piece of flat bread, to soak up the extra juices of dinner. Also, castles frequently kept their own honey bees, to make honey to cook with. Good idea!
Commoners lived in shacks made of cement, wood and/or straw. They farmed their own little field, and if their crop season was bad, they starved. Peasants made their own straw hats, and their own rough clothing. Of course, the rich people could wear silks and brocades, but it was very expensive, and they were the only folk who could afford to do so.

A saint of the Christian church said that a "woman is the gate of the devil, the path of wickedness, the sting of the serpent, in a word, a perilous object". Yikes! The lady was treated like that because according to a Greek legend the first woman, Pandora, was the one who opened the forbidden box and caused war and illness to mankind. Now, is that possible? Really? Someone got a bad rap, I'm thinking...

Even though medieval medicine was partly made out of plants, they also had unusual ingredients, too. Some examples are dung beetles, bat droppings, and powdered earthworms. The medicines could be drunken or made into ointments. I wouldn't care to have had them either way, but that's just me.

There was also no such thing as injections, no completely safe ways to put a patient to sleep, and the connection between bad hygiene and disease had not yet been made. Now, thanks to Hydrogen Pyroxide, I can stave off most things that my kids worry about. Yay for science! I'm going to add that to the things I'm grateful for, come Thanksgiving here in the States.....
I found that I was more interested in the life of a commoner then that of a nobleman, obviously because I never made my fortune - or at least I haven't yet! For years we said, "When we get rich...." Now I'm rich, but with family, friends and the beauty of where I live. We are all so fortunate when compared with third-world countries, where our castoffs would be considered riches. That'll straighten out my Wish I Had More attitude.

So - today's blog deductions: Be grateful. We have science! Yay Science! I'm so glad I don't have to ingest powdered earthworms. If anyone knows any different, cuz they are a pharmacist and have inside info, please don't tell me. Also, I'm rich. Rich, Rich, Rich! So are you. Go live outside for awhile if you don't believe me. Then come on back, and we'll have a discussion about it. Finally - and I am so glad to be able to say this - Yay Mom! Thanks for the care. May we all pass it along to the next bunch of little hands.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hello, You! Hello, Me! Welcome to my blog. I first got into blogs by reading knitting blogs, so there will be some knitting content. I used to quilt, so there will be some quilting content (as Christmas gets closer). I teach a drama club, so there will be some drama! Heee. Probably would have been that anyway, as I have three daughters, and am looking forward to lots of drama in the years to come. I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last several years, so I am looking forward to finding my voice again. Other than, "Don't do that, it's not safe," I'm sure I have much more to say....

The Barefoot Cobbler blog name is my husband's idea, as he says I never make anything for myself. Most of us are like that, I think. It's what makes crafters such good people to know. We're giving, sharing folk. First blog deduction: More people should create! It triggers a wonderful right brain thing, fulfills us, makes us happier people. Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote, "Make something. Housecleaning and dishes will be there every day, so make something." You'll be a happier person. I quote this to people, and I'm sure they'll begin taking my advice soon.

And why blog? People ask me that, and I have so many answers! It's to share, in a society where sharing is so difficult to do. We're busy running around, and it's not always easy to find like-minded people who will understand us. Also, we all think about things in the middle of the night, important things, clever things... and we don't always get a chance to share these clever things, or even to adequately explain what we mean. Slow down, people! But I don't do it myself. It's just good advice. So do it if you can, have sympathy for others if you can't. That's important, too. And make a blog, if you'd like. It's fun.

I'm off to teach Sunday School, but I am really looking forward to this blogging experience. Let's hope that you and I find that I have clever things to say!